The Phoenix City Council is set to vote Wednesday on a salary hike for new recruits that would lift their base pay from $48,942 (or $51,459 if they have college degrees) to $68,661 – or 40.8 percent. Officers making less than the new minimum base pay would be brought up to $72,779, and pay grade steps from recruits to assistant chiefs would increase. Other Phoenix Police Department (PPD) employees would receive a 3 percent pay increase in October.
The City of Phoenix issued a statement announcing the vote which said in part, “Currently our police recruit position is approximately 7 percent below the market average; this plan would bring salary ranges approximately 10 percent higher than any other law enforcement agency in the state.”
The decision was proposed after a study committee tasked by City Councilwoman Ann O’Brien, who is the Public Safety and Justice Subcommittee chairwoman, found the increase necessary. O’Brien said the goal is to get staffing levels back to where they were before the 2008 economic crash. The committee will present its results at the meeting next Wednesday.
The response time for emergency calls had increased to seven minutes and 21 seconds — above the five-minute standard. Lt. Ben Leuschner, president of the Phoenix Police Sergeants and Lieutenants Association, said that about 20 officers leave the PPD every month and aren’t replaced.
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